Ombudsman orders graft raps vs ex-Samar mayor, 2 others over cemetery project

July 20, 2017 - 9:00 AM
The Office of the Ombudsman's main building in Quezon City. (Philstar/File photo)

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered graft charges filed against former Hinabangan, Samar mayor Alejandro Abarratigue, municipal treasurer Raul Tapia and administrative officer Analiza Bagro for the allegedly irregular purchase of land for the expansion of the town cemetery.

The three were also ordered dismissed from the service and perpetually disbarred from holding public office, as well as having their retirement benefits forfeited after being found guilty of grave misconduct or, in case of separation from service, fined an amount equivalent to a year’s salary.

The complaint filed by the Field Investigation Office of the Ombudsman Tacloban Regional Office said the municipal council had not approved the purchase of the lot for which the three accused officials facilitated and approved the P500,000 payment.

The resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman agreed that, without the town council’s approval, the “purchase of lot by respondents was anomalous.”

“The local chief executive is precluded from entering into contract in behalf of the local government unit without securing prior authorization,” the resolution stressed. (Ricky Bautista, InterAksyon)